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Debunking sunglass myths: Is UV protection really all that important?

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Walk up and down the streets of Singapore you’re bound to find someone sporting a pair of cool-looking sunglasses. More often than not, you’ll realise that the sunglasses are hooked to their shirt or propped on their head. 

It completes the look, so they say. 

Sunglasses today are a fashion statement in themselves, but is that all there is to shades? Is there even such a thing as a “wrong” pair of sunglasses? Ask anyone and they can point to the glaring rays of the sun, but rarely will you find someone who truly knows the damaging impact UV rays can do on our eyes. What we are concerned about is simply not being blinded by the sun, and looking good while we are at it. 

Perhaps because we are oblivious to the true practical importance of sunglasses, many of us are perfectly fine with a cheap pair of sunglasses as long as they look good. I mean why spend hundreds of dollars on designer eyewear when a pair from Chatuchak Market in Bangkok will do the exact same thing, right?

Wrong – as Grace Ng, founder of Lenicc Eyewear, realised while walking through the hot summer streets of Rome in 2018. A pair of sunglasses she owned at the time did not serve her well, leaving her eyes tearing up while constantly experiencing headaches throughout her holiday. 

Little did she know that it was the glaring Roman sun that reminded Grace of her father’s nagging advice to the entire Ng household when she was young to always take good care of their eyes. Unfortunately, designer or not, many eyewear is designed with Caucasians in mind. As such, most sunglasses on the market do not cater for the Asian nose bridge, which is typically flatter. Her journey led her to try a dizzying array of eyewear, but the right piece eluded her.

In fact, a study conducted in the UK which surveyed 2,000 adults, found that nearly three-quarters (71%) of sunglasses wearers are more concerned that their shades look good first and foremost – with safety credentials coming further down their list of priorities. In fact, over half (54%) confessed they opt for cheaper sunglasses – which may offer less UV protection and lack the option to have prescription lenses – as they are afraid of losing a more expensive pair.

But the harmful impact of UV rays cannot be understated. Corneal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects of UV exposure and can ultimately lead to decreased vision. Another overlooked aspect of UV rays is the potential harm they can do to the skin around our eyes. According to Dr Elliot Levine, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia, our eyelid skins are the thinnest on our body, and they’re more at risk for sunlight damage. Having a pair of sunglasses that is large enough can help to protect the delicate skin around the eyes from ageing.

Grace’s Roman nightmare sparked a year of research and consulting with eye doctors and experts on how best to design a pair of comfortable sunglasses that would sufficiently protect our eyes. Fully confident with the concept behind her collection, Grace then embarked on a 6-month manufacturing process to ensure that the sunglasses were produced exactly the way she wanted them to be.

Roughly over a year and a half later, Lenicc Eyewear launched their very own collection of customisable, stylish sunglasses that protect your eyes while ensuring you stay looking fabulous. Part of the core design philosophy is using specially sourced and selected environmentally-friendly, biodegradable materials to ensure the sunglasses stay light and prevent aching at the temples after long hours of usage. 

Lenicc Eyewear takes comfort to the next level by using fully UV-protective, polarised CR-39 with a layer of anti-glare coating in their lenses to give our eyes maximum visual impact and comfort. To top it all off, Grace invites a level of personal touch not typically seen in the designer eyewear market. She often holds one to one consultation with her customers to understand more about their face shape and needs before recommending the appropriate eyewear for them. 

Additionally, Lenicc also offers customers the ability to customise their shades, where they get to choose the frame, colours, and types of lens for themselves.

About Post Author

Surabhi Pandey

A journalist by training, Surabhi is a writer and content consultant currently based in Singapore. She has over seven years of experience in journalistic and business writing, qualitative research, proofreading, copyediting and SEO. Working in different capacities as a freelancer, she produces both print and digital content and leads campaigns for a wide range of brands and organisations – covering topics ranging from technology to education and travel to lifestyle with a keen focus on the APAC region.
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